Getting Into SOAMS: Stage 1

The Application:

To get a place in SOAMS your school or college must be registered with them and if your school/college is already registered you have to submit an application by logging on the outreach website. After submitting the application one of your teachers would need to write your reference, this is why it’s so important you’re not a pain to your teachers! The application has three main questions that does require some digging into yourself in order to sell yourself. These three questions were more or less:

  1. Why do you want to do this course and what are you future aspirations?
  2. What has caught your attention in the media about your chosen career and why did it interest you?
  3. What are your hobbies and interests?

For the first question I recommend you to start by writing about yourself specifically what you are studying and what you want to do afterwards. Talk about why you want to become a doctor and what is pushing you towards doing medicine. It’s a bit like writing your personal statement so make it personal and unique. Give a little personal story about what made you want to do medicine, something that makes this application unique therefore making it stand out from the rest. Also mention two or three activities which the scheme offers that you think will be helpful and why, always explain your opinion! You could maybe include other things that you are doing to help you get on to medicine such as any MOOCs and of course don’t forget to give some detail about a specific course to show that you are actually paying attention to them.

The second question is pretty self explanatory, just look around on the internet for any news articles relating to medicine or NHS in that matter that catches your attention. When I applied I wasn’t able to find anything about medicine or as a matter of fact understood. Which is why I wrote about the media coverage about the Ebola outbreak and how myself and other classmates organised a fundraising event for it. When choosing an article be sure to understand it and explain why it interested you. Another question you can ask yourself is was there anything on the TV about medicine? I personally enjoy watching  ‘24 Hours in the A&E’ so I talked about how it showed me the inner workings of a hospital and how it changed my perception of what being a doctor would be like (in a positive way) especially after reading something somewhere saying that doctors and dentists have the lowest morale. If you really struggling to write about something you can write about a MOOC you’re doing but remember to explain what you learnt.

Last but definitely not the least, the final question, what are your hobbies and interests? Now this is the part where you pretend to have a life (just kidding!) This is the part where you get to show that you’re an all rounded person and a good team player. These hobbies could include from any sports to acting in the theater. You don’t have to write much about what you do specifically but I suggest you write about what you enjoy most about it. It’s also the question to which you could answer to with any achievements and awards you have gained because you’re such an amazing person! Something else you could include is any relevant work experience you have. Worked in a care home? Include that. Any work experience in a hospital? Include that. Cleaned the tables at McDonalds? Don’t include that.

Important words of advice: First write up your answers on a separate document
(the application “fails to save” your writing at times – trust me I know, I learnt it the hard way)

That’s pretty much it for this stage, hopefully this page was helpful I spent about an hour perfecting this  and good luck to you if your applying!